Retail trade: 2007 Results and 2008 Outlook

    MONTREAL, Feb. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Conseil québécois du commerce de
détail (CQCD)/Retail Council of Quebec released earlier today the results of
its annual report on the status of the retail industry and consumer spending
in Quebec and Canada for the year 2007 and perspectives for retail sales for
2008. This study was conducted with the cooperation of Géocom Recherche.

    Retail sales in 2007

    Retail sales in both Quebec and Canada showed growth in 2007 for the
twelfth consecutive year.
    In 2007, retail sales in Quebec increased by 4.5%, to $90.7 billion.
    In Canada, sales increased by 6.0%, to $412.7 billion.
    Low interest rates, relatively stable inflation and job creation kept
consumers' confidence level positive. All these positive factors stimulated
consumer spending throughout 2007. However, it should be noted that growth was
less pronounced in 2007 than the previous year (Quebec 5.1%, Canada 6.4% in
    In Quebec, the sectors benefiting from above-average growth included
pharmacies (16.9%), electronic products and appliances stores (12.4%), sports,
music and books stores (6.2%) and service stations (5.9%).
    On the other hand, the sectors experiencing negative growth included
household furnishings (-0.6%), miscellaneous stores retail (-2.8%), computer
and software stores (-24.4%). In both cases, this decline was associated
mainly with the deflation of the prices of goods and Internet purchases.
    "The retail sector saw a solid increase in sales, both in Quebec and in
Canada, although the growth of sales in Quebec was lower (4.5%) in 2007 than
the previous year (5.1%)," concluded Mr. Gaston Lafleur, President of the
    Quebec households saw their personal disposable income grow from $23,267
in 2006 to $24,505 in 2007. The disposable income of Canadian was $26,999 in
2007. The gap in disposable income between Quebec and Canada was -9.2%.

    Outlook for 2008

    The Canadian and Quebec economies will continue to grow moderately in
2008. "The factors influencing consumer spending in Quebec in 2008 are
pointing in the right direction," observes Mr. Lafleur.
    Consumers should see an increase in their personal disposable income. Job
creation is also expected to grow but at a slower rate, while a slight decline
in the unemployment rate is anticipated. Inflation should remain stable.
Interest rates could fall during the year, as the Bank of Canada will want to
remain in line with its policy on the inflation-control target range (1 to
    According to Mr. Lafleur, "The current economic situation remains
positive and consumer spending should allow retail sales to grow in Quebec
during 2008. While the CQCD does not expect this growth to be as strong as
last year, it should be in the order of 3.5% in 2008."

    The CQCD is the largest association representing the retail trade in
Quebec since 30 years. Its membership encompasses all retail specialties and
distribution channels, including department stores, major food distributors,
specialized boutiques, pharmacies, hardware and home-renovation stores,
franchise concepts, independent branch stores and retailers, as well as major
commercial partners in the goods and services trade sector. The CQCD
represents an industry comprising more than 54,000 commercial establishments,
more than 420,000 jobs, or nearly one in five Quebec workers, and more than
$89 billion in retail sales in 2007.

For further information:

For further information: Me Gaston Lafleur, President, Conseil québécois
du commerce de détail/Retail Council of Quebec, (514) 842-6681, extension 200
or 1-800-364-6766; Source: Conseil québécois du commerce de détail,

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Retail Council of Quebec

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